Food and Culinary Arts Playlist, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS, Save FACS

Dining in the White House

This blog post was originally published on October 13, 2016 as the first in a fifteen-part series related to the 2016 Presidential election. Beginning today we will be sharing these posts again in hopes that our readers will find some historical info regarding past presidents and their food preferences for use in the FACS classroom. A new Presidential Palates post will be shared each weekday between now and Election Day on November 3. Please note that the concluding post of this series is a quiz based on the Presidential Palates series of posts.

This is the second post in my Presidential Palates blog series, highlighting interesting food facts about some of our American presidents, classroom-friendly recipes for their favorite dishes, and related trivia.  My goal with this series is to share information that you can incorporate into your curriculum to relate to the upcoming election.  So let’s get started!

The White House kitchen has a long and storied history.  John Adams, our second president was the first to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (George Washington oversaw construction but never lived in the house.)  However, five decades would pass until the first stove was installed in the 1850s under Milliard Fillmore’s administration.  Up until that point, food was cooked in the fireplace.  It’s incredible to imagine a State Dinner being prepared over an open fire, right?  Today the kitchen in the White House rivals that of any of the finest restaurants in the country!

For most of the 20th century, French cuisine was the most common fare served at the White House.  It wasn’t until presidential preferences began to lean toward more American fare, that the menus became more varied and less formal.  Over the years, White House chefs have come and gone and several have written cookbooks based on their culinary experiences.  These books have revealed many of the favorite dishes of their former heads of state.

John F. Kennedy loved Chef Rene Verdon’s New England Clam Chowder.  This choice isn’t too surprising since JFK was a Massachusetts guy through and through.  His preferred lunch was a bowl of New England Clam Chowder paired with corn muffins.

kennedy

This recipe is a simplified version of Chef Verdon’s, but it’s still quite tasty.  Maybe you and your students might want to give it a try.

New England Clam Chowder

4 slices bacon, diced

1  1/2 cups chopped onion

1  1/2 cups water

4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

1  1/2 teaspoons salt

Ground black pepper to taste

3 cups half-and half

3 tablespoons butter

2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams

Directions:

  1. Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Cook until crisp; add onions, and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in water and potatoes; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Pour in half-and-half; add butter.  Drain clams, reserving clam liquid; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into soup.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Do not allow to boil.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Rumor has it that a bowl of this hearty soup will make you feel downright presidential.  LOL  BTW–President Kennedy was also very fond of ice cream with hot fudge.  Yum!

More Presidential Palates coming tomorrow!  If you like this post, please click Like or leave a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!  You may also Share this post with your FACS friends!

 

 

Food and Culinary Arts Playlist, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS

Presidential Palates

This blog post was originally published on October 12, 2016 as the first in a fifteen-part series related to the 2016 Presidential election. Beginning today we will be sharing these posts again in hopes that our readers will find some historical info regarding past presidents and their food preferences for use in the FACS classroom. A new Presidential Palates post will be shared each weekday between now and Election Day on November 3. Please note that the concluding post of this series is a quiz based on the Presidential Palates series of posts.

“Almost every person has something secret he likes to eat.”  M.F.K. Fish

We’re finally entering the home stretch of this very long, ugly presidential campaign season and if you’re like me, you just can’t wait for the whole thing to be over!  Even though we need to avoid “talking politics” in our FACS classes, I think we can bring a little political history into our curriculum by taking a look at some of the rather interesting and strange food choices of some of those who have occupied the Oval Office.

From now until election day, I’m going to be sharing a series of posts that highlight the favorite foods of some of our American presidents.  Each day I plan to share a snippet of culinary information about one president along with a simple recipe for that leader’s favorite food.  I hope that you will use this information to expand and enrich your FACS curriculum and to have some historical fun with your students.

Food can’t be too controversial, right?  Believe me, these food choices have nothing to do with party affiliation, just personal (and sometimes quirky) preferences.  So let’s see if we can have some fun with the topic of presidential politics to help get through the next 26 days!  Here’s a preview of coming culinary attractions.  (No recipes today, just foodie facts!)

squirrel-soup

 

James Garfield (1881-1881) had a penchant for Squirrel Soup.  Seems more like something someone would eat on an episode of Survivor!, right?  Guess I shouldn’t knock it until I’ve tried it!  Unlikely! (Aren’t you glad there’s no recipe for this one?)

nixon

 

Richard Nixon (1969-1974), the only U.S. President to resign from office, enjoyed a large bowl of cottage cheese topped with ketchup each morning for breakfast.  Good luck getting your students to try this odd combination!

 

andrew-jackson

Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) was known to really love all types of cheese. A constituent once sent him a massive wheel of cheese that measured four feet in diameter and two feet thick. It weighed nearly 1,400 pounds and was covered in patriotic inscriptions.  Ten thousand reception guests were invited to devour the wheel, which they did in just two hours!

johnson

Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969) loved Fresca so much that he had a Fresca fountain installed in the Oval Office so that he could have his favorite citrus beverage on demand.  Pretty crazy, right?

Check back tomorrow to see which Presidential culinary secrets will be revealed!  Now isn’t this more fun than the campaign footage on the evening news?  You’re welcome!